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God's Way - Chapter Twelve

SUMMARY

A world government needed
The world is facing a crisis to which history offers no parallel, either in form or magnitude. There have been crises in national affairs in the past: nations have risen to greatness, have for a while filled the stage, only to pass away as divine judgments have unfolded themselves. The era of discovery and progress of knowledge of all kinds has today put in men's hands powers of evil and of destruction to which former days can offer nothing comparable. The same progress has had the effect of knitting together all nations of mankind in a common need of co-operation. Interdependence was never more evident; powers for destruction never greater. Yet man seems unable to achieve co-operation on a world scale -- the intense nationalism of the last century, itself a product of the rapid developments of the time, by a paradox being largely the frustrating influence making ineffective the efforts for world organization. Hope is vain, for men are not morally equal to the responsibility of the powers they can wield. There has indeed been growth in knowledge and decline in moral standards. In the gloom that envelops all, man cannot find a way of escape from calamity that threatens.

God has a purpose
Yet man is here, higher in intellect and in creative power and moral capacity than the lower forms of life. He lives in a world that scientific thought regards as the only world so adapted that life, as we know it, is possible. Is it by chance or by design that this world exists and that man is here? If by design, what are the Designer's purposes?

Revealed in His Word, the Bible
One book -- the Bible -- pre-eminently presents itself as a revelation from the Creator. Its claims are emphatic its challenge that its claims be tested invites confidence. The evidence of its truth is great, both within its own pages and in the fulfilment of its predictions in history. The book reveals a Creator, and a Creator's ruling in man's history; it reveals the cause of the frustration in human life and shows that God has provided a remedy -- a glorious consummation is promised in which evil will find no place.

Concerning the Earth
The earth is the scene of human tragedy -- itself sharing the effects of man's sin. A renewed earth will be the abiding home of the redeemed from among men. The Bible deals with man's life on earth in the past, the present and the future. Its silence concerning a form of existence independent of body on any other plane as a future for man, is evidence that such a speculation is not a part of the Creator's purpose. "The earth shall be full of the glory of the Lord" -- this statement sums up the purpose of God as revealed concerning man and the earth.

God is righteous and eternal
The revelation of God which we find in the Bible is harmonious in Old and New Testaments. The God of Jesus is the God of Moses and the prophets. Holy, just, gracious, kind and true -- the plan unfolded in the Bible is in keeping with the Creator's character as revealed.

Man is sinful and mortal
Man is a moral being, and placed under law at the beginning, disobeyed. God has upheld His law against sin. Man's self-will expressed in disobedience to the Creator's laws has brought death upon man. Death as a punishment for sin is inevitably and essentially cessation of man's being. This truth is plainly declared and is implicit in all that the Bible records about man.

The Son of God -- the Saviour of men
Yet God is still mindful of man and has revealed a purpose in which sin can be forgiven and man restored to favor and friendship. This purpose centers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who laid down his life that men might have forgiveness of sins and receive everlasting life. In Jesus we see God revealed: the character of Jesus is the character of his Father. In Jesus, the son of the virgin Mary, we find the perfectly obedient son of man, inheriting through her the mortal nature all men share, subjected to the same trials and temptations as any other man. His life was perfect in obedience, and while he was required to die as a member of a death-stricken race, yet he was raised to life again. The resurrection of Jesus from death is the divine seal upon his life's work, the mark of God's approval. His resurrection was the consequence of his obedience, and the perfect character he developed in days of weakness is perpetuated in a bodily existence free from any of the disabilities which mar our present life. Jesus is alive for evermore -- in him the purpose of God finds its illustration, for redemption from death is exemplified in him -- life and immortality have been brought to light by and in him.

Jesus: Judge and King
The work of Jesus, begun when he was on earth, will be completed when he returns. His second coming is assured by many divine promises; the carrying forward to fruition of the work he did in the past as an offering for sin, requires that he should come again. That work includes the resurrection of the responsible dead and the establishment of God's Kingdom over all the earth. He is the appointed ruler of mankind. In this work he will be assisted by all who have been obedient to God's commandments, and who will be raised from death and made immortal by him at his coming. The new order will be distinguished by righteousness and peace, established by the wise, firm, kind and just rule of Jesus and his associates. The Kingdom established by Jesus will last a thousand years, when God's purpose will be brought to its close in the final abolition of all evil and all evildoers, when only a redeemed and immortal race, tried and purified and perfected, will inherit the land for ever.

Jesus the theme of prophecy
As the center of God's purpose, Jesus is the subject of many prophecies in the Old Testament. His sufferings and death are foretold, and also the glory yet to be his when he returns to rule. Three great promises in particular concern his mission -- all marked by reference to the "seed" which should come. The promises in Eden (seed of the woman), to Abraham (concerning the land of Palestine and blessing for all nations), and to David (concerning the heir to the throne of God's Kingdom), were all revealed at the appropriate time and in circumstances which gave them great significance. The theme of these "seed" promises is elaborated in the prophets.

The Jews in God's purpose
Abraham's descendants, the Jews, were by covenant at Sinai established as God's people -- and while exiles from their land today, and cut off from the covenant blessings because of disobedience, they are still God's people. Their regathering is a necessity for the re-establishment of God's kingdom, and will certainly take place. The beginnings of Jewish national revival are already evident.

Eternal Life offered; faith and obedience
The offer to all of a share in the good things God has provided is extended in God's book. The conditions of faith and obedience (first in baptism and then in living for Christ) are right and divinely appropriate, and put man into the right relationship to his God, and are the gateway to many present divine blessings.

Christendom has left God's way
The proof of the foregoing outline of truth is given in the clear and definite evidence submitted from the Bible in previous pages. The teaching of the Bible is quite different from what it is popularly thought to be; the evidence supplied of the changes which were introduced into Christian doctrines, shows that popular Christianity is based upon doctrines borrowed by "Christian" teachers from pagan philosophy and incorporated in the creeds and doctrinal definitions.

Back to the Bible for the Truth that saves
The facts are plain, and the course to be followed by any earnest seeker after truth is obvious. It is necessary to get back to the teaching of the Bible if we wish to have a faith based upon divine promises. The Bible teaching is harmonious and reasonable: as presented in this book it is not based upon isolated texts of doubtful meaning but upon the broad, clear teaching of the Scriptures as a whole. With this comprehensive teaching the few obscure texts can be easily harmonized.

Every revival of apostolic truth has come about by careful reading and earnest study of the Bible. To that Bible truth the reader has been directed that he may see what is God's will and by that truth be made free from tradition and secure the true hope of immortality. The only hope for the world is the hope of the Bible -- for the purpose revealed in the Bible is perfectly adapted to man's needs.